In a season where Borussia Dortmund landed a first ever domestic league and cup double, Shinji Kagawa proved an integral cog in the side, and now looks ready to complete a move to Manchester United.
So serious is Sir Alex Ferguson’s interest in Kagawa, the legendary manager has not been put off by Dortmund’s rejection of a £13million bid for the player last week.
Instead, the Scotsman has returned with an improved offer of an initial £15million, eventually rising to £22million, which should be enough to land the Japanese midfielder.
Kagawa has enjoyed rave reviews over the past two seasons since joining Dortmund, averaging close to a goal every two games from midfield in that time.
His one in three average at international level is equally as impressive, and at just 23 years old, Ferguson could be the ideal man to nurture the attacking midfielder into a world class player.
He was mightily impressed with Kagawa when on a scouting trip to the German Cup final, where the midfielder opened the scoring in a 5-2 win over Bayern Munich, and his ability to operate centrally and out wide is an attribute coveted by Ferguson.
Also, as a Japanese international, his mass appeal and marketability in Asia may play a factor in United’s acceptance to pay what is a very respectable fee for Kagawa’s services.
The Red Devils had similar success with the signing of South Korea captain Park Ji-Sung in the past, both on and off the pitch in terms of merchandise revenue.
With his first-team appearances occurring far more sporadically recently though, Kagawa may be set to overhaul Park and take the mantle as United’s leading Asian star.
He would add flair to the Old Trafford outfit’s midfield, and now looks ready to inject a much-needed youthful vibrancy to that area of the side.